One of the most important responsibilities of a social media company is to protect its users. That probably is the reason why Facebook has just filed a lawsuit against a Hong Kong company ILikeAd for allegedly baiting people to click on photos of celebrities.
Per Reuters, the company allegedly also baited people into clicking on “bogus advertising” links, which violates the company’s policy on ads. This enables ILikeAd to install malware thereby running ads for counterfeit goods, diet pills, and male enhancement supplements.
Facebook, according to Reuters, accused the developer of the software Chen Xiao Cong and marketer Huang Tao of making use of improper “celeb bait” and “cloaking” practice since at least 2016.
Besides taking legal action against ILikeAd, Facebook said it had since notified hundreds of thousands of people affected that their accounts may have been compromised—and this was back in April. The social media giant also said it had issued more than $4 million in refunds to customers whose accounts were used by the Hong Kong company to run the unauthorised ads.
“Creating real world consequences for those who deceive users and engage in cloaking schemes is important in maintaining the integrity,” Jessica Romero, Facebook’s director of platform enforcement and litigation, said in a statement, per Reuters.
The case with suit number 19-07971 is filed at the US District Court, Northern District of California.
Back in April, Instagram and its parent company Facebook both filed a lawsuit in a US federal court against one company and three individuals based in New Zealand for selling fake likes to people.
Facebook strongly believes that its lawsuit will send a strong message to perpetrators of such acts that it would no longer fold its hands while its policies are being violated. Facebook is asking the court to prevent the defendants from the following:
- Engaging and profiting in the sale of fake likes, views and followers on Instagram
- Violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and other California laws for distributing fake likes on Instagram even after their access was revoked and their accounts were suspended.
In March, Facebook took legal action against four Chinese firms for promoting sale of fake likes, accounts and followers. The law suit was filed by Facebook and its sister company Instagram in the US federal court against the four companies and three other people based in China.